Brighthouse to shut 30 shops and cut 350 jobs

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Brighthouse is shutting 30 of its shops at a cost of 350 jobs amid tough conditions on the High Street and a clampdown on rent-to-own retailers.

The company is closing about 10% of its estate which will take place over the next two months.

Brighthouse, which employs about 3,000 people, said it had informed staff.

A spokesman said: “We are working to redeploy as many people as possible into alternative roles but redundancies will be inevitable.”

In its most recent results for the six months to 29 September, Brighthouse reported a rise in pre-tax losses to £22.1m from £19.9m in the comparable period.

Meanwhile, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) last year announced plans to cap the amount of interest that rent-to-own retailers charge customers.

List of Brighthouse stores set for closure:

  • Aylesbury
  • Basingstoke
  • Bognor Regis
  • Bromley
  • Cowley
  • Dunstable
  • Eccles
  • Gravesend
  • Haverfordwest
  • High Wycombe
  • Leeds Merrion
  • Macclesfield
  • Maidstone
  • Newark
  • Newport (IOW)
  • Nuneaton
  • Perth
  • Rugby
  • Scarborough
  • Seaham
  • Selby
  • Southport
  • Stafford
  • Stirling
  • Thetford
  • Trowbridge
  • Watford
  • Weymouth
  • Whitehaven
  • Yeovil

Rent-to-own customers make monthly payments on a product such as a cooker or a television until they have paid in full.

However, the price of the household appliance can soon mount up because of interest rates that can reach 99% a year.

New rules

The FCA has ruled that from April, the maximum interest paid will be no more than the cost of the product itself. So, if a fridge costs £200, customers will pay no more than £400.

The price of the goods themselves will also be cut to no more than the median – the middle price – of three mainstream retailers.

Commenting on the closures, a spokesman for Brighthouse said: “We will be speaking to all customers affected by the store closures and either transferring them to another local store or serving them online.

“We’re also introducing PayPoint, allowing customers to pay BrightHouse in cash at 28,000 locations across the UK.”